August 2012

That Makes Me Stabby: Medical Bills

Yesterday, I received a medical bill that is a perfect example of what is wrong with health care costs in this country. Several weeks ago I had an ultrasound as part of prenatal testing. The ultrasound was performed in a perinatologist’s office on one of their high-tech ultrasound machines. The scan took about 20 minutes, and was performed by a sonographer. The bill for that portion was $378.…
Continue Reading

How to Avoid Being a Victim of the Lost Decade

You may have heard references to the “lost decade” on the news. This isn’t related to the “lost generation,” which is either a group of post-WWI literati, or the post-WW1 generation. Instead, it’s the first decade of this century. The 2000s, the Aughts, whatever you want to call it, it pretty much sucked financially. While people who contributed regularly to retirement did earn returns, much of it came…
Continue Reading

How to Find and Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you’re getting ready to buy a home, then you’re most likely looking for a real estate agent. Some people use sites like Redfin to look for homes themselves, but I prefer to use an agent who can guide me to the right home and help me work through all the fine points of the deal. Finding real estate agents is easy. This is how to find a…
Continue Reading

Earn Shoes and Apple Pie – at the Carnivals

Well, it is summer, so I suppose it’s apple pie season (which is odd, really, because apples are a winter fruit and yet we think of apple pies and the 4th of July together.) Anyway, I digress. So let’s get straight to it. First, the Carnival of Personal Finance #204 hosted by Earn What You Spend.  In addition to my post about determining house affordability, I also recommend My Dollar Plan’s auction…
Continue Reading

That Makes Me Stabby: The Handbag as Investment

When the economy was humming along, fashion magazines liked to tout high-priced accessories like shoes and handbags, or even whole outfits, as “investment pieces.” I don’t care how rare or expensive a piece of clothing is, it’s not an investment. It will likely not increase in value over time. The mere suggestion that it will makes me stabby. What makes me even more stabby is that some designers are…
Continue Reading